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Lit Squad: Books with diverse characters help kids know they're not alone

As students start to think about heading back to school, The Show has been talking to the authors of books those students may be reading. It’s part of a series called Lit Squad and is focusing on how this genre can help teach kids about diversity.

Jamie Sumner taught high school English for more than a decade before starting to write books for middle grade readers — generally between 8 and 12 years old. The main character in her first book, “Roll with It,” has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair. Her book “Tune it Out” features a character with a sensory processing disorder. Her newest book is called “The Summer of June” and takes on the issue of anxiety.

The Show spoke with Sumner and asked what about middle grade readers speaks to her.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.